Judge orders Paul Manafort moved to suburban Washington jail

Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

A federal judge has ordered former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to be moved from the Virginia facility where he's locked up after he allegedly claimed to be getting "VIP" treatment behind bars.

In a separate footnote, prosecutors noted that Manafort has several "VIP" privileges at the prison he's in, including a large, private unit, his own bathroom and shower, his own phone, a personal laptop, and his own workspace to prep for trial.

They pointed out that he has had a personal telephone in his unit at the Northern Neck Regional Jail and has had more than 100 phone calls with his lawyers in the last three weeks as they prepare for trial. One trial is set for July 25 in Alexandria, Virginia, and the second case in Washington, D.C., has a September 17 trial date.

Since then, Manafort's lawyers have said they can not properly prepare for trial with a client jailed two hours outside of Washington, D.C. They added that Manafort did not raise questions about his access to his attorneys or documents to prepare his defense.

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Manafort asked for the delay on the grounds he has been unable to prepare for his trial properly since being jailed.

Prosecutors also say that Manafort is working around prison restrictions on sending and receiving emails.

Ellis issued the order after Mueller's prosecutors challenged Manafort's complaints about the conditions in his current facility, citing visitor logs and recorded phone calls showing he was detained in comfort with nearly unfettered access to his legal team.

Last week, Manafort's lawyers complained that he has to spend 23 hours in solitary confinement in the unit.

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"Review of that material can be accomplished well in advance of the July 25 trial date and does not warrant a months-long adjournment", the government filings said. "When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted". Manafort's not required to wear a prison uniform and isn't confined to a cell from 8:30 a.m.to 10 p.m., Mueller said.

Manafort has been held there since June 15, when a judge in Washington, D.C., ordered him detained, partly because of new charges that he had attempted to tamper with witnesses.

Judge Ellis set a July 17 hearing to discuss Manafort's request to continue the Virginia trial and change venues to Richmond, Virginia.

The context for Manafort's comment wasn't clear but he is facing charges related to his work on behalf of clients overseas, including the onetime government of Ukraine and a powerful Russian oligarch.

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Manafort has also argued that his trial should be moved from Alexandria to Roanoke, where jurors are more likely to support the president, his attorneys told the court.

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